chrysalis after-school

we don't just teach girls.

we build the next generation of leaders.

The idea that a girl can become a chemical engineer, carpenter, veterinarian, or corporate CEO was a notion that didn't exist years ago. Since we created Chrysalis After-School in 1998, our experience is that we can change this perspective for hundreds of adolescent girls every year.

Today, Chrysalis After-School is the community's leading program for girls ages 9 to 14 and for high school girls' leadership development. Our emphasis on resilience, connectedness, self-confidence, and health includes volunteerism, academic support, leadership development, STEM engagement, financial literacy, and mentoring.

To understand what's going on in the lives of adolescent girls, we involve them in all aspects of planning and implementation of Chrysalis After-School. Annual evaluations demonstrate the success of this strategy, as participant results report statistically higher changes (when compared with girls not in Chrysalis After-School programs) in the following areas:

  • intent to finish high school
  • ability to resist peer pressure
  • willingness to take responsibility for one's actions
  • understanding that working hard today can lead to a successful future

chrysalis after-school sites: 2023-2024

Every program site requires leadership from a school staff member and from a local nonprofit partner.


GirlPower Peer Mentors (Multiple High Schools) – MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center
Roosevelt High School – Give Joy


Bondurant (3 programs) – ISU Polk County Extension
Brody – Brody PTO
Callanan - Callanan PTA
Carlisle – Carlisle PTO


Hiatt – Eyes Open Iowa
Holy Family –
Holy Family Youth Foundation
Indianola – WeLIFT Community Outreach
McCombs – McCombs Middle School
Meredith – Eyes Open Iowa
Merrill – Merrill PTA
Spring Creek (SE Polk) – Can Play Sports
Urbandale – Community Youth Concepts
Weeks - DMPS Grants Office
Woodside (Saydel) - Community Youth Concepts






Hillis - Hillis PTO
Hillside – Can Play Sports
Holy Family – Holy Family Youth Foundation
Maple Grove – Waukee Community School District
Morris – Morris PTA
King – Community Youth Concepts
Lovejoy – Lovejoy Elementary School
Stowe – DMPS SUCCESS Program
Valerius (Urbandale) – Rotary Club of Northwest Des Moines